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Joint Call to Protect U.S. Ed-Tech Program

As fierce debate over the federal budget continues, yesterday several organizations that advocate for education technology released a new, joint statement warning against congressional plans to eliminate the $100-million Enhancing Education Through Technology program, or EETT.

The statement from the Consortium for School Networking, International Society for Technology in Education, State Educational Technology Directors Association, and Software & Information Industry Association, decries the proposed spending cut, one of the few cuts in education that the Senate, House, and President Obama seem to agree on. In Obama's proposed budget, it should be noted, the intention is to take the funding from EETT and put it into other funding pots that could be used for technology initiatives.

The joint statement reads:

We are deeply disappointed that despite many Members' understanding of the vital role technology plays in K-12 education in their states and districts, Congress is on the verge of eliminating funding for this critical program.

Elimination of the program also is the surest way to devalue the billions of dollars invested over the last two years on improving broadband access to K-12 schools and directly undercuts ongoing state and federal efforts to deploy education data systems, implement new college and career-ready standards and assessments, and address the well-documented STEM crisis.

Groups such as ISTE have insisted from the beginning that even the Obama plan was unacceptable, because they doubted new funding pots would support linking education technology integration and professional development in the manner EETT has. And there is perhaps extra anxiety because of the influx of cash states received from EETT when its funding was boosted in a one-time measure as part of the stimulus bill.

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